The 8th edition of DocsDF: The International Documentary Film Festival of Mexico City begins tomorrow, Thursday, October 24 and runs through Sunday, November 3. The fest screens more than 130 new and retrospective feature-length and short documentaries for audiences numbering over 30,000. Presenting a broad range of Mexican, Ibero-American, and international work, DocsDF aims to increase non-fiction awareness nationally, presenting Doctober, a touring program, throughout the month to every state of the country. What follows are some highlights from the various sections of the festival:
There are seven competitions in all, broken down by geographical region and length, with a special competition for Doctober titles. Included in the Mexican Features category are: Sandra Castillo Ruiz’s THE ROSE AND THE DEVIL (LA ROSA Y EL DIABLO), following the filmmaker’s quest for answers about her family’s dissolution; Rodrigo Occelli’s LIGHT IN THE CONFINEMENT (LUZ EN EL ENCIERRO), about a man who was held captive for ransom for over 8 months; Kolektivo Kolibri’s WE ARE THE WIND (SOMOS VIENTO), documenting the struggle between indigenous groups and wind power developers in Oaxaca; and Yolanda Pividal’s OF KITES AND BORDERS (pictured), a look at the lives of children just across the US border in Tijuana. Titles in the Ibero-American Features competition include: Patricia Ayala’s DON CA, about a Colombian man’s desire to live simply; Boris Peters’ LEONTINA, following a reclusive Chilean woman as she makes peace with her past; Fernando Molina and Nicolás Bietti’s REFUGEES IN THEIR OWN LAND (REFUGIADOS EN SU TIERRA), following the plight of Chilean villagers whose homes have been destroyed by a volcano; and Martin Benchimol and Pablo Aparo’s THE RIVER PEOPLE (LA GENTE DEL RÍO), an investigation into bizarre goings-on in a small Argentinean town.
DocsDF’s International Features competition includes: Juri Rechinsky’s harrowing look at Ukrainian homeless kids, SICKFUCKPEOPLE (pictured); Antonio Spanó’s exploration of magic and tradition in Congolese society, THE SILENT CHAOS; and Ivan García’s excavation of a university student’s diary during China’s Cultural Revolution, A GREAT DISORDER UNDER HEAVEN. The festival also highlights made-for-TV docs in a competition, such as Raja Shabir Khan’s SHEPHERDS OF PARADISE, following a 75-year-old as he attempts to take his herd over 300km in a month by foot; and Arman Yeritsyan and Vardan Hovhannisyan’s DONKEYMENTARY, about a donkey race champion on an island of 6000 donkeys.
Non-competition sections include a focus on Norway, which includes older and newer titles, such as Inge Wegge and Jørn Nyseth Ranum’s NORTH OF THE SUN (pictured), about two Arctic surfers; and Dheeraj Akolkar’s LET THE SCREAM BE HEARD, a celebration of the work of Edvard Munch. Other sidebars are Made in Mexico, a focus on local films, including: Antonio Hernández’s TRACES OF PARADISE, about the surfing dreams of the natives of an Oaxacan resort island; Michelle Ibaven’s NO DISTANT PLACE, an exposé of the eviction threats facing a Tarahumara village community; Eugenio Polgovsky’s MITOTE, an exploration of the various activities in Mexico City’s central square; and Gerardo Barroso Alcalá and Lisa Tillinger’s STREET LÓPEZ, a microcosmic city symphony set in the titular Mexico City street.
Other sections include the music-focused Sounds My People, stories of protest in Resistencia, sidebars on women and children, a retro focus on ethnography, Films Between Cultures, and a Tribute to Albert Maysles (pictured).